Hanging Christmas Lights: This Is What Professionals Do

A Christmas without lights is always a bit sadder.

A house well decorated with Christmas lights

After all, Christmas is, in its most intimate meaning, the rebirth and the victory of light over darkness, and Christmas lights underline this aspect.

If, as happens from time to time, some towns do not install the illuminations, it is because of the chronic cash flow problems that many municipalities have.

We, ordinary citizens, also have our economic problems and, obviously, not everyone can afford to install choreographic Christmas lights.

However, by purchasing quality, energy-efficient Christmas lights, almost everyone can try to beautify their homes, both internally and externally, thus contributing to the collective beauty of the holiday.

Different approaches about Christmas lights

We are often inclined to think that illuminations are only those with flashing lights that are installed on balconies or walls of the house, as well as on the Christmas tree.

In reality, it is not always necessary to install something externally to make Christmas magical; sometimes the light is done through projectors that do not require ladders, structures or anything else.

Hanging Christmas lights, therefore, also depends on the final effect we want to achieve and, let's face it, the effort we are willing to make.

Summing up, I would say that we can distinguish at least two types of light decorations:

  1. Those that are projected
  2. Those that are hung

Among the first I remember the spotlights that, placed at a certain distance from the house, project plays of light on the walls of the building, making it become a kind of open-air cinema. In this case we have a projection that, so to speak, goes from the outside to the inside.

Also in this sphere there is also the possibility, much less well-known, of using digital decorations to project images onto the windows by means of a traditional projector. Here the image is projected from the inside out, creating true holographic shows.

Finally we have the varied universe of Christmas lights among which you are spoiled for choice.

The steps to follow for hanging Christmas Light perferfectly

As with any other work, even to arrange the Christmas lights must follow certain steps, to get a good end result.

The fundamental steps are basically three:

  1. Choosing the point to be illuminated;
  2. Measurement and purchase of the lights;
  3. Hanging the lights safely.

Let's analyze these steps one at a time.

Choice of focal point

There are two categories of people:

  1. Those who, once they have chosen a spot to place the luminaries, invariably, year after year, place them there;
  2. The creative people who try to change the effect of the luminarias every year, looking for new arrangements and effects.

Regardless of whether you belong to the first or second category, there is no getting away from finding a focal point where to place the lights.

A focal point is defined as that area that will inevitably catch the eye of the observer and highlight a particular aspect of the house or garden.

If you already have a lighted driveway or garden, you can take advantage of it to make it an integral part of your Christmas lighting.

Keep in mind, however, that outdoor lighting could potentially detract from the visibility of the luminaries, which would obviously be more visible on their own and in a nighttime setting, so this is something to consider.

Whether you decide to put the luminaries on a tree, on a balcony, or on the driveway, you still need to choose a specific spot and avoid scattering Christmas lights as if they had been fired from a cannon.

What has just been said obviously does not apply to spotlights that project the lights, in that case a continuous surface such as the wall of the house is what serves as the "projection screen".

Take measurements and choose the luminaria

Another key step is to take the correct measurements of the area you intend to light. Abundance is better than scarcity!

Especially if you're lighting trees by "covering" them with spiral lighting, it's a good idea to take measurements with a string and then measure the length of the string itself in order to choose the correct length of lights.

It goes without saying that it is better to have one long strand of lights than two or three separate ones, each of which will need to be plugged into a socket and perhaps have different timings.

Once the measurements have been taken correctly, all that remains is to order the Christmas lights in the appropriate color and size.

Nowadays there are really all kinds, from traditional lights to LED tubes, from clusters of lights to chains of lights and waterfalls of lights (very popular today).

You can choose between uniform colors or multicolored lights up to the RGB LED lights controlled remotely, where you can vary, at will, brightness and color.

What is certain is that it is always better to bet on LED lights that are those that guarantee the best energy savings and the longest life.

It seems almost trivial to say, but if the Christmas lights are to be put outside must be certified to withstand the weather, do not buy lights of dubious origin and not certified that could even be potentially dangerous.

Hanging Christmas lights

Any luminaria requires electricity to operate and therefore needs a socket to which you can connect it.

From this it follows, necessarily, that the more distant the place where we want to install the Christmas lights, the more complicated it is to connect them to the electrical system.

Especially in winter and bad weather, any electrical extension cord must be properly insulated to avoid current leakage.

To fix the lights use the appropriate clips that can be purchased separately, forget plastic ties, tape or whatever.

Place the lights on a tree or hang them from the gutter is not work for everyone. Working at height always involves serious risks and if you do not have the means to operate safely look for alternatives, for your lights.

The lights must be fixed with care to avoid that a gust of wind, just to give an example, disassembles your entire system.

Taking advantage of the glass surfaces of the building can be a convenient idea. In this case the lights can be installed either inside, between the window and a curtain, or outside the window. The disadvantage is that you will not be able to close shutters or blinds and access to the window will be made more difficult by the presence of the lights.

For the lights that are projected is all easier although, in the case of external spotlights you must find a point that is not in the way of any vehicles and / or pedestrians and that does not remain covered by snow, in case of heavy snowfall.

Spotlights are ideal for those who want to achieve dynamic lighting with very interesting play of light. The disadvantage is that a good quality floodlight can be expensive.

DIY Editor
Do-it-yourself enthusiast. I started with the renovation of my flat and then I changhed this passion into my job.